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Sunshine-free but hot on ideas at Summer Eventia 2012


The sun refused to shine but Summer Eventia, held this week at London’s Kings Place, attracted more than 200 delegates to hear 39 speakers participate in 18 sessions.

Opening with an insight into the economy and its effect on events by former HSBC chief economist Dennis Turner, the event also saw a panel debate the ‘halo effect’ of the Olympic Games. Other highlights included John Hooker’s take on working in the BRIC economies, new ideas and apprenticeship schemes to engage event talent and in-depth discussions on new technology tools, from RFID to 3D mapping, to social media tools like Storify and Pinterest.

Rescheduled from its traditional July date to avoid a clash with the Olympics, Eventia vice-chairman Simon Hughes said numbers had been slightly up on last year’s event in Cardiff, but down on the 2010 event in Glasgow. A poll by Crystal Interactive at the start of the event showed those in the room represented agencies (38 per cent), suppliers (25 per cent), venues (17 per cent), other (15 per cent) and 5 per cent corporates.

“The number of organisers and suppliers were fairly evenly split and we were quite pleased in the end,” Hughes said. “The content programme for the Summer Eventia 2012 was driven by delegate responses from the previous year’s event. Judging by both anecdotal evidence and social media feedback from delegates, we have delivered on all aspects. I’m delighted with the results.”

Hughes, who will take up the role of chairman in July, says one of his aspirations is to build further collaboration between other industry associations to help bring together more voices, including the elusive corporate sector.

“We all do similar things. Yes it is a broad church as an industry, but there are opportunities for us to collaborate a little more so we have a sharper focus. Then we can talk to the government in a united and joined up fashion to get attention as a proper, grown-up industry. In my experience (at the now-defunct COI) it’s clear you can't just throw your ideas at government, you need to show how you are supporting the same initiatives.”

He points at links already in place with the Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) and International Visual Communications Association (IVCA), plus Eventia’s new initiative which saw its corporate members invited to attend a Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) educational event in Europe.

“You’ve got to give them the right offering. You do need to come up with activities that play to corporate needs,” he said.

View images from Summer Eventia at

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